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Bad blood created as Blazers, Batum fail to reach extension

Jan 26, 2012, 10:48 AM EDT

Portland Trail Blazers small forward Nicolas Batum defends against Sacramento Kings guard Marcus Thornton in Portland Reuters

Nicolas Batum is a key role player in Portland — he’s already one of the league’s best perimeter defenders, scores 11.1 points per game off the bench and can stretch the floor shooting 40 percent from three this season.

But the two sides could not reach a deal on an extension to his rookie contract — and the entire process created a lot of bad blood. Here is what Batum’s agent said to CSNNW.com.

“When Batum becomes a restricted free agent, we’ll look at the other 29 teams before we talk to the Blazers,” Batum’s agent Bouna Ndiaye told CSNNW.com. “The Blazers had their chance.”

Batum and his agent can look around all they want next summer — and there certainly will be interest in the young Frenchman — but the Blazers will have the right to match any offer. Batum is a restricted free agent.

Batum’s agent said the offer from the Blazers was not “fair.” Read: lowball. Here was Blazers acting GM Chad Buchanan’s response, via Blazers Edge.

We feel like it was a fair offer but that’s just part of the bigger negotiation sometimes. There’s a gap in there and there just happened to be a gap at this time. I wouldn’t want to speak for their side on that. We still have strong feelings about Nic and I hope to see him be a valuable contributor like he has been and help us out this year.”

PBT was told Batum likely meets the “starter” criteria in the new CBA and can sign a $4.3 million qualifying offer, play for the Blazers next year at that price then walk as a free agent. But that would be leaving a lot of money on the table. Most likely he gets a healthy offer this summer and it will be up to the Blazers — and owner Paul Allen — to decide if they want to fork over the cash and match it.

  1. acdc363 - Jan 26, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    He totally earned a good contract after that alley oop buzzer beater last year against the spurs with .9 seconds left. That was so awesome.

  2. goforthanddie - Jan 26, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    “we’ll look at the other 29 teams before we talk to the Blazers,”

    Well that’s a dumb thing to say. Portland no longer needs to negotiate, they can just match offers.

  3. therealhtj - Jan 26, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    That’s your new CBA. No more stupid contracts given out. Personally I like it. Teams aren’t going to bid against themselves anymore. It’s good for the league as a whole.

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